Body Dissatisfaction and Drive for Thinness in Young Adult Twins


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Abstract

Objective:We explored correlates of the Eating Disorder Inventory subscales Body Dissatisfaction (BD) and Drive for Thinness (DT) and genetic and environmental influences on these traits.Method:In a population-based sample of 4,667 Finnish twins aged 22-27 years, we conducted twin modeling to explore genetic and environmental contributions to body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. Logistic regression was used for the correlational analysis.Results:Various eating and body size-related factors and psychosomatic symptoms were significantly associated with high body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness in both genders. In women, early puberty onset, early initiation of sexual activity, and multiple sex partners were statistically significant risk factors of body dissatisfaction. In gender-specific univariate twin models, additive genes accounted for 59.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 53.2-64.7%) of the variance in body dissatisfaction and for 51.0% (95% CI = 43.7-57.5%) of the variance in drive for thinness among females, but for none of the variance among males.Discussion:There are very distinct gender differences in the heritability patterns of body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness in young adults. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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